Sailor 'slapped and pinched' colleague after allegedly making her own complaint
A sailor accused of “bum slapping” and “nipple pinching” a male colleague has pleaded not guilty to assault and has instead claimed that she is the victim of sexual harassment.
Able seaman Hannah Clayton allegedly assaulted fellow sailor Jarrad Pluckrose in 2017 while the pair were finishing training on HMAS Cerberus in Victoria.
In a hearing today, the 27-year-old told a Sydney court she had “no recollection” of the alleged pinching incident and said the slap was “unintentional” and actually “on the outer thigh”.
While giving evidence to the court, Ms Clayton also claimed the accusations against her only came to light after she had made her own complaint against Mr Pluckrose and his friend, Connor Coleman.
Throughout the hearing, the court heard Ms Clayton and other sailors including seaman Shabul Reza describe a culture of banter and skylarking between the trio, which included Mr Pluckrose trying to kick over a chair she had been sitting on and tripping her up while she was marching.
She also accused both men of pulling her hair, calling her “baby” and asking her to call them “daddy”.
Ms Clayton has alleged the behaviour escalated to the point where Mr Pluckrose tried to coax her into his car for implied sex and told her to get a tattoo of his penis on her leg.
“I’d ask them to stop, and that got me nowhere,” she told the court.
“Other times, I went along with it hoping they’d get bored… Then I got a bit firmer with the ‘stop’.”
Both Mr Pluckrose and Mr Coleman were suspended after Ms Clayton lodged her complaint. Six months later, however, she was being investigated herself.
Multiple sailors have testified in court to witnessing the nipple pinch and the bum slap, which Mr Pluckrose described as a “five out of 10” in terms of pain.
A verdict for Ms Clayton is expected tomorrow.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019